Gather around for eight ridiculous #JocFacts about Joc Pederson's blazing start to 2015
So, as you may have heard by now, this Joc Pederson fellow happens to be pretty good at the baseballing. He can catch, he can throw, he can nail the most convoluted of coffee orders, and at this rate he may never do anything but hit dingers ever again:
His unrepentant mashing has got us to thinking: Just how good has Pederson been? The answer, as it turns out, is "historically awesome" -- and in grand Cut4 style, we've got some #JocFacts to prove it. (No, not that Joc. Nice try.)
1. Very few humans hit a baseball quite like Pederson. According to Statcast data as of June 4, he's second only to Giancarlo Stanton (who, let's face it, is a real-life superhero and should have his own division) in average exit velocity of balls put in play at just over 94 mph. (He's also second behind Stanton in homers longer than 450 feet, with three. All those in favor of a Stanton-Pederson duel prior to every ensuing Dodgers-Marlins game, say aye.)
2. Joc is currently sitting at 17 home runs on the year. That's fourth most in baseball, six more than any other first-year player and already good for 10th all-time by a Dodgers rookie -- and that group includes a man benefitting from Magical Mustache Powers, which is an established medical phenomenon and definitely not something we just made up:
3. The following is an exhaustive list of center fielders who, at 23 or younger, completed a full season with a higher OPS+ than Pederson's 174 (as a reminder, OPS+ is like OPS, but adjusted for a player's ballpark and scaled to a league average of 100): Mays, Mantle, Cobb. Obviously, a third of a season is a very small sample size, and Pederson's got a long way to go to even come close to those three. Still, when that's the company you're keeping at any point, you're doing something right.
4. What makes Pederson so remarkable is that, while he's slugging .594, he's also a terror atop the Dodgers lineup, getting on base at a .388 clip while also ranking fourth in baseball in walks. So, in sum, he's mashing like the Hulk and running like a cheetah ... which hardly seems fair, when you put it that way.
5. The five-game homer streak that came to an end on Thursday was hardly new ground for Joc -- he hit one in four straight from April 27 to May 2, making him just the second rookie in the modern era to put together two streaks of at least four games with a home run.
6. You've heard of the "three true outcomes" -- things that don't involve the defense, i.e., a walk, a home run and a strikeout. Joc has apparently taken this maxim to heart. Exhibit A -- at one point this year, this was a thing that was true:
Joc Pederson in seven games as a leadoff hitter: .222/.344/.889 with a 0.000 BABIP. That's my favorite stat in sports right now.- Chris Towers (@CTowersCBS) May 7, 2015
Over a seven-game span, Joc Pederson put up a very respectable slash line without the benefit of a single, double or triple.
7. Lab testing has found Pederson to actually be a member of an ancient alien civilization bent on world domatination through crushing baseballs.
8. Just how locked in is he? Only one -- yes, one -- of Pederson's home runs this year has been pulled to right -- everything else has been to dead center or in the gaps, and on Wednesday he even hit one out to left:
(Okay, so one of the above may have been made up, but we'll let you decide.)